Gordon Dykstra offers a unique Small Claims consultation service for people who are pursuing civil lawsuits in British Columbia Small Claims Court.
Small Claims in British Columbia are for claims up to $25,000. While this amount may not warrant hiring a lawyer to conduct the entire matter, if you wish to discuss your documentation, evidence and/or how to proceed, book a consultation with experienced Abbotsford trial lawyer Gordon Dykstra to review/discuss your Small Claims lawsuit.
There are two types of civil claims in British Columbia for most people: small claims and general civil claims. Knowing how these two recovery systems work for a civil grievance is important. While no one expected to start the week filing a lawsuit against someone else, it still may be necessary at some point to prevent being abused or taken advantage of. Not everyone wants to follow the rules of being civil in society, and there are plenty of characters who have no issue taking advantage of someone given the chance. The civil legal system is the means to resolve such matters without having to take matters in one’s own hands and then getting into trouble with the law as well.
A civil claim, unlike a criminal charge, is a complaint that one party has wronged another, but not in a criminal manner. It could be negligence that caused someone to get hurt, a contract or agreement was reneged on, or even a vehicle accident can result in a civil claim for recovery via financial compensation. The court process is how such claims are filed, judged and resolved.
The above said, the court is not interested in providing a full hearing on every civil dispute as many are small in scale and don’t need a full trial process. As a result, a small claims process is available to provide a diverted way of resolving issues without expending lots of court resources on the matter. For those who have a claim worth under $25,000, the party seeking recovery or claimant has to file in court and notice the party being sued, the defendant. Because many small claimants may not be able to afford legal representation, the small claims process is designed for non-attorney filers and processing. Even then, however, consultation with an attorney can be a big advantage to know how to present an issue to a magistrate correctly. As many have found, a case can be dismissed on the smallest of mistakes.
If a civil claim is worth more than $25,000, then it needs to go through the general civil claims process. These can include both individuals as well as businesses, companies, and agencies as well as even the government itself. Again, the point of a civil claim is to seek and recovery financial for a harm that was caused by a defendant. No surprise, that can include a wide range of issues, including contracts, divorces, estate lawsuits, and personal injury recoveries.
In every civil case the issue starts with filing of documents called pleadings. The initial complaint starts the matter, identifying the claimant and defendant and the circumstances of the issue of dispute. However, not everyone understands that a civil case if fought as much on procedure as it is the merits of the case itself. And because the technical side of legal procedure can be so complex as well as arcane to the average person, it’s very easy to lose a case based on basic filing mistakes or oversights in how information is presented to the court. Anybody can argue the merits of an issue, but not everyone can maneuver court rules which can vary from district to district. As a result, the help of a skillful attorney in civil law is essential for the success of a civil lawsuit. It’s rare for a party to be able to sue, be allowed to progress very far and win a civil lawsuit without any legal assistance at all. In fact, many magistrates won’t take a case seriously without proper representation being present on the matter.
So if you have the potential for a significant civil case brewing in Abbotsford, BC or elsewhere in the province, take some time to discuss the matter with a qualified civil law attorney. What can seem simple and obvious can be made effective by such help, especially when a case should be pursued both for recovery as well as to make sure the defendant doesn’t abuse someone else’s rights as well.